Gold’s Gym, made famous by 1977 bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, is the latest firm to declare bankruptcy as it buckles under the economic toll of coronavirus shutdowns that have forced fitness fanatics to stay at home.
Gold’s Gym filed on Monday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with at least 30 company-owned gyms set to close. The business was founded by Joe Gold in 1965.
Chief executive Adam Zeitsiff said in a statement: “This has been a complete and total disruption of every one of our business norms, so we needed to take quick, decisive actions to enable us to get back on track.”
He reassured users in a video that the firm was “not going anywhere” and is not going out of business.
The restructuring is aimed at ensuring the “continued viability” of the business for decades to come, Zeitsiff said.
On Monday, fashion chain J.Crew became the first major U.S. fashion retailer to file for bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic added to the firm’s preexisting woes, including large debts.
The first Gold’s Gym opened its doors in Venice Beach, California, 55 years ago and became a haunt of celebrity sports stars and clients, including Dwayne Johnson and Schwarzenegger, as it built its reputation as the “Mecca of bodybuilding.”
Gold’s has around 700 gyms worldwide trading under the brand, most of which are franchises. They are independent and not linked to the bankruptcy filing, and are set to reopen once it is safe to do so, Zeitsiff said.